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Confusion & Clarity

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Early Monday morning on July 16, our ship visitors, Eddie, Mike, and Ron, were preparing to visit a ship which had docked at the harbor over the weekend.  Robyn, our truck driver chaplain, informed them that he had brought four Filipino men from this ship to the center on Saturday.  While at the center he had a good visit with one of the men, Romeo, who is a believer.  He had asked for a Bible in Tagalog, his heart language, and Robyn had also given him some Bible study materials to share with the other crew members.  Eventually, each of the men at the center also asked for a Tagalog Bible.

Around 9:30 am, the ship visitors boarded the vessel and were escorted to a meeting room.  A man in a t-shirt and jeans sat down near them and said he was glad to see the Texas Port Ministry van pull up.  He told them that the ship would soon be taking a 40 day journey to Australia. 

Soon, several men entered the room to purchase phone cards.  One of the men noticed the "Evange-Cube" sitting on the table.  Ron asked them if they would like to hear the story that went along with the cube.  He then presented the gospel, using the "Evange-Cube," asking the men to read the Scripture references aloud from a Tagalog New Testament.  The last picture on the cube illustrates the fact that every person must individually choose to accept Christ and His free gift of salvation.  Ron asked the men if they had made that choice.  One man stepped forward and said he wanted to do that now.  Three other men also stepped forward.  Romeo, the believer Robyn had met a few days before, joined the group in support of his friends and now, brothers in Christ.  Ron led them in prayer, asking each of them to pray in their own language.

All of this was happening while other crew members were coming and going in the room purchasing phone cards and needing assistance in using these cards.  Eddie, Mike, and Ron were all kept very busy, and things were a little confusing at times, but God's message was clearly presented and accepted. 

The ship visitors evenutally realized that the man they first met upon boarding the ship was in fact the Captain.  They asked him if they could pray with the crew for their safety on the long journey ahead.  The captain radioed the crew and many of them came for that prayer time.  A few days later, another of our ship visitors boarded the ship and was invited for lunch and to join them in watching the Jesus Film DVD that had been left by the previous group of ship visitors. 

4 men became believers that day because of a group of volunteers who generously give their time to show God's love to an often forgotten group of people in the Freeport Harbor Community.  There's always room for more volunteers who are willing to join God in His work in
Shipping the Good News around the World.

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Apprehension, Excitement, Anticipation

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I have been struggling recently with apprehension about our future here at Texas Port Ministry.  Times are changing for all of us and those changes have a great effect on this ministry.   Sometimes, knowing some of what is coming is not a good thing.  Then too, trying to figure out what I need to do as a result of those changes can lead to depending on myself.  That leads to worry and worry is a sin.

Recently I heard a sermon from Matthew 6:24-34 that deals with worry; how it affects us and what we should do.  One outstanding comment from the message was, “Daddy’s got this.”  A light just turned on for me!!!  Daddy God knows all and He’s got this!  I need to seek God, be who he wants me to be, and trust that He’s got this.

So, among the challenges, here’s what God did last week:

  • 5 Seafarers from on ship prayed to receive Christ on Monday.
  • 2 Volunteers returned to active duty; one on Monday and one on Tuesday.
  • First Baptist, West Columbia mission group gave us two hard days of work and a brand new Range for our kitchen.
  • 2 Truckers had real and meaningful spiritual conversations with Robyn.
  • We got Michelle’s computer back from the shop and was blessed by a donation of software and labor by DS Tech Solutions.
  • There is much more, but I’m out of room.  Let’s just say, GOD BE PRAISED!

Thank you Lord!  How exciting to see the way you proved to me that you’ve got this!

One of the FBC, West Columbia ladies commented this week, “You have not because you ask not.”  So, here goes, Lord.  I need to let you know of some of the needs that we have at Texas Port Ministry: 

  • Our mower died week before last; we need a new mower or someone who would provide their own mower and mow for us.
  • We need to replace 2 AC units at a cost of almost $12,000. The old units are on their last leg and the sooner we replace them the sooner we will save on energy costs.
  • At the end of the year, we will lose NAMB funding.  We need to add at least $20,000 to our budget income for next year to make up the difference.
  • There is more, but I’m out of room. 

Would you please join me, in prayerful anticipation of all that God will do next?

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The Harvest is Rotting

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I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest.  John 4:35b NIV

I recently read a devotional from the book, VOICES OF THE FAITHFUL.  The title that day was “The Harvest is Rotting.”  In this story the missionary was  working in a situation that seemed too hard.  How could there be a harvest in a land that needed to be plowed, planted and cared for before there could be a harvest.  But in God’s providence, this missionary was shown that God was indeed already at work in what seemed hopeless and the field was truly ripe for harvest.

At Texas Port Ministry we are attempting to reach Seafarers, Truck Drivers and Port Workers with the Good News of Jesus.  But most days it seems that the work is too difficult.  There are too many people that need a touch and too few workers to accomplish such a great task.  In the Freeport Harbor Community could the harvest be rotting in the fields?  Is it rotting because no one is telling them the good news?  Or could it be rotting because there are too few workers?  After all, as Michelle quoted at our banquet, “the Good News in only good news if it gets there in time.” 

I truly feel a strong sense of urgency for us, as Christians, to be busy about the work God has given us to do in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.  However, I am concerned that many Christians are complacent and don’t feel that it is their job or are frozen in their fear of talking to someone about a relationship with Jesus. 

On the same day that I read “Rotting in the Field” I also read this quote by William Booth:
“Not called!” did you say?  “Not heard the call,” I think you should say.  Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin.  Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help.  Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there.  Then look Christ in the face – whose mercy you have professed to obey – and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.

Will you ask yourself the question, “Is God calling me to join Him in His work through Texas Port Ministry?”  For some, it will be a call to prayer.  For others it will be a call to join us in God’s harvest field.  If you keep your focus on yourself, you will never join in.  It is only when you see people as Jesus does will you move into action. 

The hymn says:
Lead me to some soul today, teach me, Lord, just what to say; Friends of mine are lost in sin, and cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care, and few there are who pray; Melt my heart and fill my life, give me one soul today.


My prayer for you today is that you will say “yes” to God and join Him in His harvest field before the harvest rots in the field.
Blessings to you all,
Bobby
Matthew 9:35-38

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